Notes from the Executive Director

Happy New Year from the AFCPE Staff Team

Happy New Year from the AFCPE Staff Team!  Each New Year provides a tremendous opportunity to reflect and recharge for the fulfilling work that lays ahead.

The 2018 AFCPE Annual Research and Training Symposium was the perfect culmination to a fantastic year. This year’s theme focused on engaging an inclusive and integrated field of personal finance professionals because where else can you learn from passionate experts from all across the country working in research, education, and practice? Where else can you engage with experts who are committed to providing the highest standard of financial counseling, coaching, and education? Our professionals know that these standards are foundational to helping individuals and families turn challenges into opportunities and dreams into realities.

We also celebrated the 35th anniversary of the organization and 25th anniversary of the AFC® designation. We are proud to have been pioneers in professionalizing the field of financial counseling and education. The 2018 Symposium marked a significant opportunity to honor our history, embrace the present, and look to our future—to build upon our momentum and to strengthen the continuum of care for all people, not just those with wealth. Attendees were encouraged to raise their AFCPE® voice about issues that matter to them. AFCPE is leading the field in our focus on integration and inclusion, and in the diversity of our professionals. We must spread this focus and commitment to the financial services field at large. We must continue to raise our voices for the highest standards of professionalism, invite others to join the AFCPE network, and share the value of certification.

We are also thrilled to announce the launch of our new quasi-endowment fund, the “AFCPE Strategic Impact Fund.” Over the last five years, AFCPE has focused on ensuring a stable foundation for the organization, making strategic investments and expanding partnerships to help our organization flourish and grow.  We are at a point now where our finances are stable, and our reserve fund is healthy. Our certification and training programs are growing, and we are now able to set our sights on ensuring long-term impact and sustainability of our organization.

AFCPE has invested $300,000 of our own funds into this important endowment. Once we reach our goal of $2 million, we will be able to start using funds for:

  • Scholarships – for certification and training, students, non-profit groups, and symposium attendance

  • Research projects – that build collaboration between researchers and practitioners to impact lasting financial well-being.

  • Grant funds – for programs that improve financial security in underserved communities, using high standards of professionalism

Your work, your voice, and your advocacy make a difference.  Here are a few ways you can raise your AFCPE Voice:

Become a Member: Join a diverse and inclusive network of financial educators, researchers, and practitioners to exchange ideas, share best practices and influence change. AFCPE® Membership offers tremendous benefits to enhance your work and your career, including a strong network, cutting-edge research and information, and professional development.

Get Certified: Earn the gold standard, nationally recognized credentials for financial counseling and financial coaching to help you make a difference in the lives of the individuals and families that you serve, by meeting them where they are and guiding them on a new financial path.

Support our Initiatives: Become a founding donor of our Strategic Impact Fund, join a Task Force, or lend your voice to the Government Relations Task Force as we advocate for our profession and for the needs of those we serve.

Have questions about where to start? Reach out to us directly! At AFCPE our proven process is to listen, guide, support, and connect. By serving committed professionals like you, together we can ensure that all people — regardless of income or background — have the opportunity to achieve lasting financial well-being.

Passing the Torch

At the end of 2018, Jill Spence is passing the torch after more than 15 years of service as the AFCPE newsletter editor. Under Jill’s leadership, the newsletter has changed names (from The Forum to The Standard), evolved in design, and moved to a digital, sharing-friendly format. Throughout its evolution, one thing has remained constant – Jill’s commitment to excellence in delivering high-quality and highly relevant personal finance information to our readers. Each edition of The Standard, brings you articles that share topics and ideas to help positively affect the work you are doing in financial education, research, and practice.

Jill passes her torch to Stephanie Yates, who will become the AFCPE newsletter editor, beginning January 2019.  Stephanie is a PhD and AFC® (and soon to be a CFP®!) and is the Endowed Professor and Director at the Regions Institute for Financial Education at the University of Alabama (Birmingham). She has been very involved with AFCPE, including most recently writing content for our new AFC Online Course.

Welcome, Stephanie! And thank you, Jill, for truly setting the highest standard throughout your many years of service to AFCPE®.


The Standard

1st Quarter 2019


Thank you to this issue's contributors:

Leslie Green-Pimentel, Ph.D., AFC®

Kyle Grevengoed, AFC®

Kelly Jabbusch, AFC®

Kate S. Mielitz, Ph.D, AFC®

Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, AFC®, CHC

Toija Riggins, Ph.D.

Robert A. Robertson

Jill Anne Spence

Rebecca Wiggins

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